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Do We Do It Anymore?


We do lots of things every day. Duh. But do we do this one particular, challenging, curious thing - it - anymore? Commit is the it. We hang out with people, but do we really commit to them, no matter what? We show up for an organization’s activities or take up a hobby, but do we give it our all? We become a member of a club or a league or a church, but do we stay with it through thick and thin? Is commitment a thing of the past?

Decades ago, in our country’s history and our own personal ancestry, people married one another and stayed married “until death did them part.” Many worked in a position with one company until they retired… or at least within one field of employment. It was not uncommon to hear of “lifetime members” of organizations or to see awards presented to volunteers for decades of service. Commitment. Dedication. Stick-to-it-and-through-it-ness. Do we do it anymore?

Of course, it’s easy to hang in with something or someone when we’re getting our needs met. When we’re having a good time. When we can soak up accolades and bask in admiration. When we don’t have to exert or expend or extend. But when we are called upon to take responsibility or to give more than we receive or take a stand for something we’re not sure about, our desire to hang around may diminish to nil. We love being with people until we don’t or until they need more from us than we care to give. We believe in an organization until it veers in a direction we don’t feel comfortable going. Is commitment a vanishing virtue in our world of self-gratification? Do we do it anymore?

In our violence and virus infested world, it seems that there are two primary responses to life on this ravaged planet: to hunker down and hold on to me, myself, and I, or to remain engaged in the struggle for what is possible by serving the good and sacrificing for others. Both are expressions of commitment, but each are fueled by vastly different energies and driven by distinct incentives. What an interesting exercise it could be to examine every little thing we do through the lens of it! In other words, whenever we do whatever it is we do, we would ask ourselves: to what or to whom are we committing our resources, and what’s the point of it? It’s likely we could learn a lot about how we do – or don’t do – this curious stuff of commitment!

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